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February 4, 2021

Nissan Still Has Some Ways to Go with EV Acceptance

In 2018, Nissan commissioned a study with Frost & Sullivan on the readiness and willingness of customers in the Southeast Asian region to adopt electric vehicles.

At the time, Filipino buyers were the most willing to consider an electrified vehicle as their next car purchase (51 percent of respondents). Two years later, in a new study which now considers e-POWER (but disregards full hybrids), customers are starting to show tepidness with that willingness dropping to 45 percent. In fact, the percentage of respondents who are not willing to buy an electrified vehicle has actually gone up from 2 to 7 percent.

This sentiment is echoed regionally with 37 percent of respondents “certainly considering” buying an electrified vehicle, down from 51 percent in 2018. However, those who would “probably consider” an electrified vehicle is up to 55 percent from 46 percent.

As with the study done in 2018, cruising range remains the biggest hinderance to the adoption of electrified vehicles (48 percent), followed by the lack of public charging infrastructure (45 percent), concerns about safety (43 percent), and limited personal charging infrastructure (42 percent). These numbers though are markedly lower than they were two years ago.

Vivek Vaidya, Associate Partner and Senior Vice-President, Mobility, Asia-Pacific at Frost & Sullivan says that COVID-19, and the economic slowdown played a part in this change of attitude. Moreover, 66 percent of consumers across the region believe they will inevitably adopt electrified mobility as part of their lives in the near future.

Across the region, 39 percent are willing to purchase an electrified vehicle because it’s associated with high-technology, followed by those who’re concerned about the environment (38 percent). In fact, 81 percent of respondents mentioned that their choice of adopting electrified vehicles would be significantly influenced by the source of power generation. This care for the environment was found to be most important to consumers in the Philippines and Thailand (86 percent).

At the same time, potential EV buyers have resigned that the cost of owning an electrified vehicle is higher. Basic utility buyers—those who see vehicles simply as a means of transport than a source of pleasure has dropped from 27 to 23 percent in the two-year period.

While the perceptions towards electrified vehicles remain predominantly positive, Nissan still has their work cut out for them. More respondents are showing interest in electrified vehicles, but concerns still cloud its widespread acceptance. Still, Isao Sekiguchi, regional vice president for Nissan in ASEAN is encouraged by the study.

“We are encouraged by the fact that consumers in ASEAN see electrified mobility as a viable means to support them in being more environmentally friendly, and to help reduce the stress on our megacities. As the pioneer in electrified mobility, Nissan is delivering on its commitment to making electrified mobility more accessible to more people.”

The key, according to Sekiguchi to better acceptance for electrified vehicles is a sustained collaboration between public and private stakeholders, the creation of a long-time road map, and a strengthened mobility ecosystem that supports electrification technologies.

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